WEALTH MANAGER TARGETS CPA FIRMS FOR PARTNERSHIPS

New York -- Accountants who want to offer wealth management services for clients can benefit from a knowledgeable partner, and that's what Paul Saganey, president of Integrated Financial Partners, hopes to provide.

Saganey, a certified financial planner, has been targeting accounting firms to team up with his Waltham, Mass.-based firm, which offers wealth management and a variety of other financial advisory services. His firm has $4 billion in assets under advisement, he said during an interview with Accounting Today in late February. Currently IFP is working with approximately 140 firms, primarily in New England and some in New York.

But Saganey has also been expanding south since starting IFP in 1996, making deals with firms in Virginia, Maryland and Florida, and he hopes to extend his alliances westward to Chicago, California and the states in between. Many of the firms he works with are affiliated with the BDO Business Resource Network. His firm started out by servicing high-net-worth individuals with upwards of $10 million, especially business owners with complex financial and tax situations.

"Our model is one of co-sourcing," he said. "The accountant serves the purpose of introducing us to their clients that they think would be the most appropriate for us to work with and then we come in and we do all of the work. We have our own financial planning department, our own in-house attorneys, and a design team so we actually put the cases all together."

The firm now has 120 financial advisors and is continuing to grow its accounting firm alliances.

"We're not looking to work with every single accounting firm in the world," said Saganey. "The ones we're having the greatest success with are the kinds of firms where there are a couple of senior partners, and they've got some juniors running around. The senior partners are within eight to 10 years of retirement, and they're saying, 'How am I going to sell the business and go off my merry way?' We come in the door with a way to bring financial planning to their clients."

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